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Necessity and contingency in the Hobbes-Bramhall controversy: the theological arguments

Grant number: 13/13466-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): November 23, 2013
Effective date (End): January 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal researcher:Celi Hirata
Grantee:Celi Hirata
Host: Luc Foisneau
Home Institution: Centro de Pesquisa. Universidade São Judas Tadeu (USJT). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), France  

Abstract

The research abroad is part of a larger study that aims to investigate the arguments used by Hobbes in The questions concerning liberty, necessity and chance in the assertion that all events occur necessarily, in order to determine what kind of necessity Hobbes establishes in opposition to the doctrine of future contingents that is supported by Bramhall. In this work, which contains a great part of the controversy between Hobbes and the Bishop of Derry concerning liberty and necessity, the author of the Leviathan presents several arguments for the necessity of all things, demonstrating the necessity not only by means of the semantic identification of sufficient cause and necessary cause (proof that he also presents at the Short Tract and at the De Corpore), or arguing that any change would be unintelligible without a necessary cause, or resorting to the principle of bivalence, but also by means of theological arguments, claiming that the doctrine of future contingents is incompatible with divine foreknowledge and providence and that the necessity of all things results from the divine decree. Therefore, there is a superposition of logical and theological arguments, so that it is difficult to establish a hierarchy between them, as well as a fusion of different senses of necessity, namely, a logical necessity and a physical necessity. During the period of research abroad I intend to further explore the issue of the theological foundations of Hobbes's necessitarism and solve possible difficulties of the translation under the supervision of Luc Foisneau, a leading expert on the subject and translator of the Questions into French. (AU)

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